August 2017

“This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.” 1 Corinthians 4:1–2 (ESV)
A quick review of our journey: January began with our considering the opening about how we want to be regarded. February considered, what does it mean to be “servants of Christ”? “What is a servant?” March followed with the critically important affirmation that Jesus Christ is Lord. It is essential to identify whose servant we are. April explored servanthood. May looked at the motivation for our service. In June we explored the challenge of service. from John 13:3–5. July explored the issue of stewardship from the requirement of personal decision making and the wider latitude for choices.
I’d like now to explore the issue of stewardship from the aspect of trustor’s (grantor) purpose. A trustor typically selects a steward (fiduciary) on the basis of mutual understanding, style and accomplishment of objective. Seldom (never) would one elect a fiduciary who lacked knowledge of the truster’s desires and style. A successful steward understands the truster. Therefore to be faithful stewards of God’s mysteries we have to understand Him. Graciously He provides, 1 Corinthians 2:16 (ESV) “ “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.” So how do we get the mind of Christ?
First, John 1:12 (ESV) tell us, “12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,” So have you received Jesus? Do you believe in HIs name? Please recall this is not simple head knowledge, that is, that you know or have heard about Jesus. It is also not emotional excitement about the possibilities that Jesus offers. Rather this belief encompasses total transformation of our lives. Romans 12:2 (ESV) “2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” This transformation results in an interesting physical response. Romans 12:1 (ESV) “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” It requires a renewal of your mind and a gifting of your body for worship. In other words this belief encompasses mind and body and will.
There are simple and practical tests for self examination here. Is my thinking pattern the same as the world’s or Jesus? Am I really offering everything I am and possess to God and His worship? Tough but powerful questions.
Second if I have received Him then I must follow him. Jesus’s invitation to the disciples was recorded in Mark 1:17 (ESV) “And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” Notice the two elements, follow Jesus and become. We become like Him as we follow and are transformed by the renewing of our minds and the submission (obedience) of our wills to His. Remember this following is a daily, whole life encompassing journey. The disciples walked with Him, ate with Him, rested with Him, and served (ministered) with Jesus every day. They were not Sunday followers. Every aspect of their lives were under His direction.
Third, one of the most interesting aspect of following Jesus is that others will see it. Notice Peter and John before the Sanhedrin council, Acts 4:13 (ESV) “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.” Unbelievers recognized that they had been with Jesus because of the way they conducted themselves and spoke, This admonition from the Apostle Paul is also evidence of being with Jesus, 2 Corinthians 2:15–17 (ESV) 15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, 16 to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? 17 For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.
So we ask ourselves are others seeing Jesus in me? Do they see in me His, “…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; …” Galatians 5:22–23 (ESV)
Faithful stewards always possess the “mind” of the grantor (trustor). It makes faithful stewardship possible. So do you possess the mind of Christ? It is essential for faithful stewardship. Here are the steps,; receive Him, follow Him, and be with Him and a miraculous transformation will occur. Praise His holy name.